A Day in the Journalistic Life


The life of a writer is rarely depicted as glamorous.

We do it because we must. But sometimes we also must do other things like eat, and pay for shelter over our heads, or support those dependent on us. In the age of of information inundation, with high reader demands and little money to go around, the situation is bound to get tense.

A few days ago, Nate Thayer spelled out “the state of journalism in 2013” on his blog after being asked by The Atlantic to rework a piece for free.

In a debate among writers, words will be met with more words and, after a heated day on Twitter, an editor/writer for the Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal responded with a day in the life of a digital editor. The clincher, delivered with a sigh: “Anyway, the biz ain’t what it used to be, but then again, for most people, it never really was.”

Joining the conversation, Stephanie Lucianovic, one of those freelancers for whom the title sometimes just means free from contract but other times also involves writing for free, explains that at times she can’t help it — the words tumble out before the money comes in.

Caroline Kangas calls both Seattle and San Francisco home (though she currently resides in the latter). She recently received a mouthful of a liberal arts degree from the University of San Francisco and can be found selling pirate supplies at 826 Valencia or wandering the streets with her diva of a french bulldog, Elle. More from this author →